As the sun rises, the trucks are being loaded with the tools for the day. Blankets, trolley, dolly, straps, and other protective materials are stored inside the trailer ready for the job.
To reach the pick up address before the start time of 7am, our drivers set out from our base from around 6am. As the trucks find the best place to park, we call the customer to let them know we have arrived.
Today is a big commercial move. It will take six men and 3 trucks to move the cosmetics wholesaler from their warehouse of 25 years in Allambie Heights to a new, smaller office in the beautiful Georges Heights. Many businesses are downgrading like this, outsourcing offsite warehouses to lower rental costs.
At 7am, the team leader consults with the customer to know exactly what needs to be moved, what stays, and what will be thrown away. Today, it’s a two-storey warehouse with offices upstairs. The first things to pack into the first truck are boxes from the offices.
One man stays in the truck to organise items coming into it, while the other five men start bringing the boxes downstairs. Soon a chain starts to speed up the process. It also makes it easier for the movers to transport the heavy boxes down to the truck.
Two men then peel off to tackle dismantling the office furniture. They have brought a comprehensive tool kit and get to work taking apart unwieldy corner desks. They keep the screws and other loose pieces in a plastic bag that is filed away for later. The movers are all so focussed, there is barely any chatter as they get on with the job.
Before long, when boxes have gathered at the bottom of the stairs, the trolley is used to take several at once to the truck. The boxes are stacked inside, with blankets thrown over the top of them. Loose furniture items are put on top, like office chairs and other awkward shapes that cannot be stacked neatly.
The first truck is not overfilled before the doors are carefully closed. This makes sure that none of the customer’s valuables fall out when the doors are opened at the other end. With one truck full, the next backs up to the loading dock.
The team then start loading metals shelving and other bulky fittings into the second truck. The shelves are convenient for stacking smaller boxes and other items. Usually, the first truck will take all the boxes and furniture that is in the way of access, and the second one will take the bulky fittings and leftovers.
The third and final truck takes the dismantled furniture, including desks, chairs, whiteboards, and other office fixtures that need to be installed first.
With the first two trucks full, the drivers take the customer’s inventory to the new offices in Georges Heights. They start by offloading the 100 plastic moving boxes and place them in the centre of the new space. That way, when the furniture arrives, it can easily be placed in the corners of the room.
At this stage, communication is paramount. The customer talks with the movers to establish where exactly the furniture should be placed and, in some cases, reassembled. A constant checking and re-checking may be required, as a customer’s whims can change when setting up a new space.
While five movers get the remainder of the items off the trucks, one man stays inside the trailer cleaning the truck floor and tidying up the straps, blankets, and other tools that live there. It usually takes quicker to unpack everything than to pack, so customers are always impressed when the job is suddenly finished.
On this job, the men were pleasantly surprised when the owner of the company brought over lunch and fruits from the nearby farmer’s market. The customers were incredibly happy with the focus and efficiency of the movers and were impressed with the stamina of the guys to get the job done within the timeframe that was quoted.
In the end, the warehouse to new office job took around five hours with three trucks and six men. Luckily for them, there were no afternoon jobs booked, so it was off to the beach to relax before the next full day of moving.